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diplomatic service of his country. He remained, a close and shrewd observer of men and things, reading and studying European politics, men, and histories, and extending his personal acquaintance with all the leading personages, to whom his position gave him access. He had little business to transact, and was thus master of his own time, a commodity he never squandered.
In 1795 he was directed to proceed to London and exchange ratifications of the famous and largely odious Jay treaty. Though a series of vexatious delays prevented his performance of this mission, it led to the negotiation of a treaty more important to him, and not without significance to his country. In 1797, while at Nantes, awaiting an opportunity to embark for America, the Adamses, father and son, made the acquaintance of an American merchant of that city-Joshua Johnson. He was a Marylander -a brother of Thomas Johnson, of that state; a signer of the declaration; governor of Maryland, and later one of the judges of the supreme court of the United States. Joshua Johnson had a young daughter, Louisa Catharine, and the young boy and girl there became acquainted. On this visit to London, the young diplomat found Joshua Johnson the American consul of that capital. He found Miss Louisa Catharine, a mature and most accomplished young lady of rare personal attraction. A lack of ardor of temperament was not a defect in the character of the young man, and an attachment grew up between the young people, which led to their marriage in July 26, 1797, when he was thirty years old. This was one of the Adams' fortunate and happy marriages. Preceding this event, and near the close of his administration Washington transferred Mr. Adams from the Hague to Portugal. Meantime the people had elected the senior Adams, President. To the young man this was a source of perplexing embarrassment, as was the position of the son also to the father. That the advancement of the father should work disadvantage to the son, would be unjust, and a charge of nepotism was also to be avoided. In this dilemma, Washington came to the aid of both, and in a written communication declared to the elder that his son was the ablest man in the foreign service, had earned promotion and was entitled to receive it. The voice of Washington in or out of the capital, had equal potency, and the destiny of the son was changed from Lisbon to Berlin, where he arrived with his bride in November, 1797. At the gates of the city a lieutenant questioned his right of entrance. Mr. Adams tried to explain, and told the officer who and what he was. The lieutenant had never heard of America ; a private of the guard had, and the representative of the west was permitted to enter, and in due time make his bow to Frederick William II., nephew of the great Frederick.
There was as little to do in Berlin as at the Hague. Mr. Adams negotiated a treaty of commerce, with a power with which it was impossible to trade, and another with Sweden, which was of more advantage.
One of the last acts of President Adams was to recall his son, so that Mr. Jefferson might not be embarrassed, and the son be saved from the hand of the family foe, as Mr. Jefferson was then considered. With all our knowledge and experience of the excitement and commotion produced by political party strife, and the hatreds and animosities often arising among the leaders of the same party, it is very difficult to reproduce the condition of men and parties as they existed when Mr. Adams returned. The federal party, devoted to consolidating and putting in working order the feeble machinery of the Constitution, and carrying it forward until its power to accomplish most of the specified purposes of its creation was demonstrated ; had shown itself incapable of acquiring the new ideas and adopting a policy needed for a further advance. Bitterly as it was hated by the national republicans, the hatred of many of the leading federalists for President Adams was more intense. This was if possible more than reciprocated by him. No great man in our history ever fell so hopelessly and helplessly from power as did he, on the loss of the presidency. It is said that he drove away from the capital in “ a wild rage," on the night of March 3, 1801, to avoid the pageant of his rival's inauguration the next day. Mr. Hamilton thought himself aggrieved. He published a pamphlet against the President, and while he ostensibly supported his re-election, he would have been very willing to see him fall behind C. C. Pinckney, and so, in the event of success, descend to the position of Vice President. The President's appointment of the mission to France among his latest acts, without consulting his cabinet, and after he had declared he would not, was the immediate cause of the disruption of his party. It led to a dismissal of his cabinet, and though undoubtedly of great benefit to his country, it contributed largely to his own downfall. There were old causes of enmity between him and Pickering, whom he hated with an intensity second to his hatred of Hamilton; the latter he always charged with his defeat in the canvass of 1800.
The leading federalists of Massachusetts were Hamilton's friends, and although the younger Adams was no way personally connected with the causes which produced the unhappy state of things existing in the country, he naturally regarded himself as of his father's faction, and was so held by friends and enemies, of all parties. The feeling of Mr. Jefferson toward the son personally, is shown by his prompt removal from the position of commissioner in bankruptcy, to which, since his return, he had been appointed by the United States district court of Massachusetts.
He at once opened a law office, and addressed himself vigorously to the half forgotten texts of Coke and Fearne. At the April election of 1802, the federalists of Boston elected him a senator, in the state legislature. The position was one then sought by prominent men, and opened the door to political life, for which he was undoubtedly born with a predilection.
ELECTED SENATOR-ACCEPTS A FOREIGN APPOINTMENT.
N February, 1803, came on an election for United States senator, when
he was chosen on the fourth ballot, receiving eighty-six votes out of one hundred and seventy-one. This was certainly very handsome on the part of the anti-Adams wing, when it is remembered that Timothy Pickering eagerly sought the place; an old man of strong claims, for lifelong service, eminent ability, and friendship for Hamilton. In October, 1803, the senator-elect made his way to the grim mud beleaguered village by the yellow Potomac, bearing the name of the father of his country. Those familiar with the capital of to-day, even with the aid of his diary and the letters to his mother, are unable to form any conception of its abject meanness and squalor. Here he was to appreciate, perhaps for the first time, the bitterness and strength of the hatred borne his father by nearly all men in public life; and that these were glad to find in the son an object upon which it might spend itself. Social considerations restrained it in Massachu: setts; Washington presented an unobstructed field. He was game for the republicans, and the federalists expended on him the rancor so powerless against the majority. In this uncongenial atmosphere he attempted to speak little; that little pleased no one. He attempted to do little; that little invariably failed. The only effect his advocacy had upon any measure, was to insure its defeat, though in some instances it was afterward carried. There was at the first no comradeship between him and any of his fellow senators. Soon after his advent in the senate, Mr. Pickering also secured a seat there, which certainly did not add comfort to Adams' position. Though never possessing large tact, he was cool, courageous, firm, industrious; and began slowly to gain upon the esteem and good will of his fellows, until he finally forced his way to a position of importance and prominence. The hard work on committees he cheerfully undertook and faithfully performed. The first important matter to be passed upon was